Retention and Treatment Outcomes of an Undernutrition Program for HIV patients involving Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food at Gondar University Hospital, Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Aug;10(8):LC01-6. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/19875.8294. Epub 2016 Aug 1.


Introduction: Despite global efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, under-nutrition is still a major health problem, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV/AIDS prevalence is also a serious burden.

Aim: To assess the retention and outcomes of under-nutrition treatment program in Gondar University Hospital, Ethiopia.

Settings and design: A cross-sectional study was conducted in HIV positive children and adults participating in the Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) treatment program at Gondar University Hospital ART clinic for one year from November 2012 to November 2013.

Materials and methods: Six hundred and thirty six patient records were followed-up for one year. Outcome variables were Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) values measured as severe, moderate acute malnutrition, normal after treatment, non-respondent, relapsed and lost to follow-up using the hospital records of HIV positive children and adults eligible for the program.

Statistical analysis: Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to compute Crude Odds Ratio (COR) and Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR). Statistical significance was set at p-value<0.05.

Results: Among 636 clients, 44.2% achieved MUAC measures ≥ 125 mm for children and ≥ 21 cm for adults at 4 and 6 months. 70.1% of those were children while 29.9% of the 281 were adults. Moreover, a more positive initial response to ready-to-use therapeutic food was found among children as there was significant increase (p<0.05) in MUAC value after the second month of initiating treatment while adults achieved a significant (p<0.05, p<0.01) in MUAC at the 4(th) and 6(th) month respectively. There was a significant association between age, nutrition status and treatment outcome, while sex, HIV status, education and residency were not associated with treatment outcome.

Conclusion: Recovery and weight gain rates were below 50%. Defaulter rates were higher than the Sphere standards and recovery was better in children than adults. Integrated RUTF and HIV program and strict follow-up and education or counselling of HIV positive patients should be strengthened.

Keywords: Malnutrition; Mid-upper arm circumference; Severe acute malnutrition.